Pontine, Shelton win brackets at Las Vegas Grappler tourney

\MEEKER — Devon Pontine, TJ Shelton and Jake Shelton jumped at the chance to wrestle in Las Vegas after being invited to compete in the Las Vegas Grappler tournament.
Fifth-graders Pontine and TJ Shelton both won their weight brackets and Jake, a first-grader at Meeker Elementary School, finished fourth in his first tournament of the year.
“They wrestled very well and worked hard on their skills,” Alan Pontine, who coached the boys said. “It was really neat that all the coaches and refs from different teams said what great wrestlers we had. I was proud most of all, of the compliments on their sportsmanship with the other wrestlers.”
The tournament was hosted by Team Las Vegas and the Meeker boys were invited by the host coach. The Las Vegas Grappler featured more than 25 teams from Nevada, California and now Colorado, with more than 900 youth wrestlers attending.
When asked by the host coach what the boys like about the tournament, both were said to have replied; “Vegas and wrestling all in one weekend. We got to ride roller coasters, see cool things, go see sharks, shows and ride in a Hummer limo up and down the strip, plus wrestle. We love to travel and meet other kids, see really cool things and we get to do what we love, wrestle.”
Wrestle is what the boys did, with Pontine winning two matches and a gold medal in the 105-pound bracket, while TJ Shelton won five matches and the title in the 100-pound bracket, both in the 10-and-under division. Jake Shelton wrestled his first tournament of the season and got a workout with seven matches in the 55-pound bracket and a fourth place finish.
Pontine and TJ Shelton have wrestled in several tournaments this winter, including the Who’s Bad national tournament during Christmas break, where Pontine finished second and Shelton seventh.